There are countless stories that can come out of the state wrestling tournament each year. Some can be obvious while others need to tracked down.

This year is no different and while we at Colorado Preps will have our eyes open for stories we are not currently aware of, here is a quick guide to some of the stories that we will be watching when the action begins on Thursday.

Team races

The team races are always fun to watch as it truly is anyone’s game when the matches begin on Thursday. In the Class 2A race, Wray is going for its fifth title in six years. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the latest On the Mat rankings and have to be considered the favorite in the classification. Meeker has been ranked highly all season as well but the Cowboys fell to North Fork in the team race at regionals. Other regional team champions that will look to dethrone Wray are Buena Vista and Cedaredge.

The 3A race has a similar feel as Eaton is going for its third title in four years, which includes a shared title with Valley in 2020. The defending champions have six wrestlers ranked in the top four of their respective weight classes. Brush, Severance and Alamosa also claimed regional team titles last weekend. Mullen, the No. 2 team according to On the Mat, finished second to Severance at Region 3.

Going back to 2016, Southern Colorado teams have claimed five of the last seven 4A team titles. Pueblo County has two, Pueblo East has two and Cheyenne Mountain has one. In fact, the only team based north of I-25 and Cimarron St. is Windsor, who won titles in 2018 and 2020. Pueblo East has a great shot at going back-to-back after getting five regional champions last weekend. Thompson Valley and Windsor battled to a tight team race at Region 4 with the Wizards edging out the victory. Montrose and Mesa Ridge also won team championships.

The 5A wrestling ranch has been owned by Pomona for much of the last decade, and like John Dutton, the Panthers have zero interest in surrendering any of that land to anyone. The Panthers are going for their fifth team title in a row and are riding high off getting their first four-timer in school history in Daniel Cardenas. The Panthers sent 13 wrestlers to regional championship matches where eight of the came out with wins.

While Discovery Canyon took the spot spot in the On the Mat rankings in the final weeks of the season, Chatfield remains the team to beat in the girls team championship race. The Chargers are the only team to win the girls wrestling title since the sport was first sanctioned for the 2020-21 season. The Chargers have the talent and the mystique about them to come away as champions once again.


Other storylines:

Loveland’s Johnson seeking history

Morgan Johnson has a chance to do something no other girl in the state has done. The senior is going for her fourth state title (three official and one from the CHSAA pilot season in 2019-20). Johnson is likely to receive to the recognition of a four-time champion and her ability on the mat speaks for itself. She is certainly a storyline worth following for three days.

Juniors seeking title No. 3

There will not be a four-time champion crowned in 2023, but that doesn’t mean that a four-timer watch isn’t happening. There are six total wrestlers (four boys, two girls) going for their third championships setting up a night akin to the 2020 state tournament where four wrestlers claimed their fourth titles.

The six juniors going for championship No. 3 are:

  • Caleb Camp (Buena Visa, 2A 126)
  • D’mitri Garza-Alarcon (Fort Lupton, 3A 138)
  • Persaeus Gomez (Pomona, girls 120)
  • Ciara Monger (Calhan, girls 235)
  • Dale O’Bila (Mullen, 3A 113)
  • Jackson Rairdon (Thompson Valley, 4A 120)

Championship droughts

An individual wrestling champion can certainly lift the athletic profile of a school. And when a school has won a championship, then gone on an extended drought, the pressure can certainly build.

Coming into the weekend, there are 29 schools who have not claimed an individual wrestling champion for at least 20 years and have at least one wrestler competing this weekend. Looking at the records of some of these wrestlers in the field, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that this drought could come to an end for several of these schools. Below we list the school, the last year it had an individual champion (along with the champion that won in that year) and the wrestlers in the field for that team.

  • Arapahoe (2001 – Lewis Delponte): Marek Mangers (106), Ryan Grubb (138), Cash Callas (157), Ben Brown (285)
  • Aurora Central (1977 – Lewis Sondgeroth): Juan Cooper (157), Van Nawl (165)
  • Basalt (1993 – Bill Rose): Brady Samuelson (190), Jose Munoz (285)
  • Battle Mountain (200 – Sergio Sanchez): Grady Devins (106)
  • Denver North (1993 – Ron Gonzales): Jackie Martinez (165)
  • Denver West (1994 – Gabe Sandoval): Alexander Ramos (175)
  • Douglas County (2003 – Ian Biggs): Dustin Huber (144), Zach Rusin (285)
  • Durango (2000 – Bryson Webber): Ryan Dugan (113), Riley Belt (132)
  • Ellicott (1994 – Justin Hudson): Jedrek Howarth (150)
  • Evergreen (1970 – Rick Rohower): Alejandro Luna (126), Gabe Zimmerer (165), Max Johnson (175), Karl Schuenemann (190), Jack Johnson (215)
  • Fairview (1987 – Dean MacArthur): Sam Benton (190), Brock Kolstad (215)
  • Falcon (1989 – Ted Gallegos): Robert Joseph Meza III (113), Logan Millikan (144), Javani Majoor (157), Joseph Lovato Bakke (165), Alex Thorhauer (190), Jeremiah Sandiford (285)
  • Frederick (1997 – Toby Lopez): Santana Leon (126), Wyatt Schust (138), Ricardo Moreno (144), Adrian Casillas (157)
  • Harrison (1998 – Brandon Boyd): Diego Watt (175), Antonio Camey-Valdez (285)
  • Highlands Ranch (1998 – Keith Sanford): Connor Kennedy (120)
  • Horizon (1998 – Antonio Trujillo): Jackson Scott (175), Camden Neil (190), Jordan Harris (215)
  • Kennedy (1980 – Don Haddad): Gabriel Little (150)
  • Las Animas (1992 – Jake Peterson): Cody Netherton (215)
  • Littleton (1966 – Steve Smedley): Disan Tenorio (106), Elias Garcia (120), Luke Suro (138)
  • Manitou Springs (2001 – Brandon Pritchard): Wes Reeves (190)
  • North Park (1976 – Mauricio Sanchez): Jayden Dailey (126)
  • Overland (1996 – Ryan Miller): James Rada Scales (150)
  • Pueblo Centennial (2001 – Craig Singleton): Jason Soto (132), Blake Roberts (165), Adrion Lopez-Vigil (190), Sal Mendoza (215)
  • Rangeview (2002 – Roger Baker): Greg Brooks (190)
  • Sargent (2000 – Nate Gibson): Garett Thomson (144), Trenton Lovelace (215)
  • Simla (1998 – Chuck Sheldon): Jackson Pfost (132), Adam Shults (175)
  • Skyline (1984 – Shawn Johnson): Brody Hufford (106), Calvin Mendez (113), Tobias Pinson (132), Maddox Leggett (175), Rene Perez (285)
  • Skyview (1998 – Mike Alvarado): Isaac Ibarra (150)
  • Trinidad (1995 – Ken Rivera): Ashten Torres (106), Alex Martinez (120), Eddie Bowman (132), Lawerence Bowman (138), Charles Garcia (165), Jake Armijo (215), AJ Bowman (285)